ideation iteration illumination

For a while now, I’ve been going back and forth on the current App-madness that continues to rage in the emerging tech space. It has infected everything. First phones, then tablets and now TVs. Professionally speaking, I’m squarely situated in the center of it and have worked on them (who hasn’t at this point?) as well as downloaded, used, enjoyed and hated them on multiple platforms. Ever since Apple created enough object fetishism and cultural esteem in their products, the masses are overwhelmingly accepting of Apple’s heavy handed control of any and everything that can ‘legally’ be put on their device. The only loophole, the single beam of hopeful light is the browser’s ability to access the web. Fortunately, the internet is still not under Apple’s Machiavellian ‘guidance’ but I’ll say that in a low whisper in case big brother is listening.

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Cox Cable's Trio UI

I believe that a cable set-top-box is capable of a more interesting browsing experience than the Trio UI that has been recently announced from Cox Cable. ¬†In fact, I’m sure of it.

In case you are unaware, there are many limitations that come with developing engaging user experiences on devices like set-top-boxes because of limited storage and chipset capabilities. They’re really, really, dumb machines compared to how we are used to consuming media in our broadband world. They’re nothing like desktop computers or cell phones. But technical constraints are no excuse for poor design implementations. Some amazingly creative ideas have emerged despite¬†severe limits. In partnership with frog design the Trio UI is being baked into Cox Cable’s latest hardware offering. The new design takes advantage of the wider 16:9 format of today’s TV sets by offering three panes (Trio, get it) that function as a cascading menu. I want to spend some time unpacking my grudges with it because it bothers me too much to ignore. I will be ignoring the outdated graphics and ‘borrowed’ navigation highlight bar care of TiVo. I’m really sticking to the Trio UI as a poor choice for an optimal multi channel browsing experience on the television.

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